Review: Descender #9

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Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art, Colours, Cover: Dustin Nguyen
Lettering: Steve Wands


In Descender #8 Andy, a fearsome scrapper who as a child had TIM-21 (the main character in the first story arc) as his robo-companion, is under attack after having tried to forcibly enter the Gnishian airspace, forbidden since the king has been murdered by the Hardwire, a robot resistance group. The cause of the assassination? Rescuing TIM-21. The cause of Andy’s will to get to Gnish? TIM-21. The small robo-companion seems to be the focus of everything. While we assist to the battle, we also see Andy having flashbacks to another time, when his temper tantrums made his mother decide to buy him a robo-companion. Yes, you guessed it: TIM-21 again. We also see the terrible day in which Andy had to leave his friend behind.


Issue #9 brings us back to TIM-21, on the command ship of the Hardwire. One of his human friends, Dr. Quon, is having his left arm mechanically restored after it was chopped off by the King of Gnish (the one who was murdered soon after); the reason of the mutilation? Quon is known in the galaxy as a genius of robotics, but – under Gnishian torture – he confessed to be a fraud: he stole all the plans from an archaeological site. Commander Telsa, the other human (well, she is a Sampsonite – what I mean is, she’s a living being) who TIM-21 brought with him, seems quite critical of him. Of course. Meanwhile TIM-21 is moping because he had to leave on Gnish Bandit and Driller – his dog-bot and a drilling bot who saved his life. His new found “brother” TIM-22 is trying to cheer him up; as he does so, we get a nice reflection about the human race.


Descender is a compelling and unbelievably original series. The characters, both human and robotic, are very deep, very realistic, and everything they do makes sense. Yes, this should be happening all the time, but… well, quite often the suspension of disbelief required to enjoy a comic series isn’t limited to its premise.

And, once again, a special praise must go to the art. Descender is not drawn: it is painted, with an unbelievable care and precision. Which makes this series a little more special.

So, to conclude, Descender is an interesting series, well written and beautifully illustrated. Just… read it, OK?